Michigan Suburb Tickets People For Swearing, Fine Is $200
BRIGHTON (WWJ/AP) - Police in downtown Brighton are cracking down on disorderly conduct by issuing tickets to people who swear or cause problems following complaints about the behavior of teenagers and young adults in the area.
Colin Andersen told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell that he was simply venting when he swore after a friend was ticketing for skateboarding in Brighton, a community about 35 miles northwest of Detroit.
The 19-year-old from Brighton said he was in the parking lot near the Imagination Station playground in April when he was ticketed for disorderly conduct. Andersen said he swore under his breath and no children heard him, but he ended up with a $200 fine.
"What got me to start arguing a little bit, they were asking all of us to leave because he got a ticket," Andersen said. "That's not fair. We're just standing around."
Brighton police Chief Tom Wightman said it's OK for teenagers to hang out downtown, and the city doesn't have a law prohibiting certain words. He noted that the playground is used by families and young children, and he said the department gets complaints about teenagers and young adults.
"That's what gets on our radar, their behavior," he said.
Andersen fought the ticket in court but lost. Wightman chuckled when asked to about Andersen's statement that he said the profanity under his breath.
"That would require an officer with some incredible hearing," Wightman said.
So, how serious of a problem is bad language on the streets of Brighton?
One man talking to WWJ's Charlie Langon said,"Swearing in Brighton is really bad... really, really bad."
But local small business owner "Link", at Brighton Donuts on West Grand River, said he's not worried about he his employees keeping the conversation clean.
"No, I never get mad," he said, adding that he has bigger concerns when it comes to city government. "Pete said I'm the owner; I said owner my ***! If I don't pay my taxes on time, they'll take the mother ******."
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